Life, with its hardships and losses, isn’t exactly a non-stop celebration. While one would certainly like it to be so, there will be occasions and events when the celebration comes to an end and things pass into memories. Some times, even memories do not suffice. The time always comes when the party ends and the festive spirit slips into memory, or even beyond memory as T. S. Eliot so poignantly expresses in The Waste Land.

“The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights. The nymphs are departed.”

I was reflecting on this poem sent to me by a friend who had a recent loss who found solace in poetry like I did in reading and attending classes on Vedanta. I was trying to find the right approach to be of some comfort for my friend when I received this message from the same young man who inspired my post The Company Of Great Persons.

“A man was pierced by an arrow, and a doctor was immediately summoned to have the arrow pulled and the wound treated. However, the wounded man insisted to find out who shot the arrow before he would let the doctor treat him. Was it a man or a woman? Was the attacker young or old? Which direction did it come from? What was the arrowhead made of? How big was the bow that shot the arrow? What kind of feathers were used?

The wounded man would definitely die of poisoning before his desire for knowing all the information was satisfied.

I love this story. In regards to acceptance, it is so valid. Some of us would rather go our whole lives in pain through resistance than to acknowledge what is wounding us. We refuse to accept the wound or pain. We think that things should be different than they are. We go around trying to resist the inevitable.

If we were to acknowledge the wound and surrender to what is in that moment, then the arrow would be able to be taken out. But since we, like the wounded man, ask questions like why is this happening to me or trying to rationalise what is happening, we never heal the wound. When we identify with the ego, that wound will never be healed because the ego is resistance which created the wound and keeps the wound from healing.

But once we can forgive and realise that all that is happening is okay and is only in the mind, that acceptance is what heals. The resistance is what makes it so painful.”

Since the message arrived just as I was scratching my head to come up with a topic for this week’s 2 on 1 Friday post, I suggested it to Shackman, whose take on the subject can be read at his blog. Please do go over and read. Thank you.

Games That Life Plays.

To the left is Gauranga Prabhu of ISKCON.

To the right is Sundar Pitchai.

Both graduated in Engineering from prestigious Indian Institutes of Engineering in the same year. The former is a leader in matters spiritual and the latter a leader of the world’s largest IT company.

Don’t you find it amazing?

Holi, Our Spring Festival Of Colours.

Holi is here. Day temperatures are back to where we have to use ceiling fans and nights cold enough for comforters.

My daughter in love Manjiree talks to her plants every day and obviously it works.

I take my readers back to my post of eight years ago. The garden has been completely relaid since then. This morning however, I saw the same plant coming up bravely in the same place to have its place in the sun! Perhaps if Manjiree talks to it, the flowers will reappear!

The Right Question.

Not that I consider myself to be a Wise Man but, I certainly have a question at the end of this post for my readers.

As my readers know, I am part of a group of Senior Citizens from the fields of Management and Management Education. We meet at irregular intervals to discuss on pre-determined topics and are otherwise in touch with each other and the group via telephone and WhatsApp besides the now getting old fashioned emails.

Through this group I have recently got to meet two individuals who had met me when I was employed in a Pune company twenty years ago. I had also come to know about another colleague who meets a member during his morning walks and exchanged best wishes.

Some months ago, one forenoon, when I answered the door bell, I saw another colleague from the same company with a box of sweets who had just dropped in to say hello and revive the old connection. Since then, we are in regular touch through social media and phone calls and plan to meet for a face to face meeting soon.

Last Friday, one of the members of the group had come home for lunch and stayed on for a while reminiscing about his connections from those days.

Last Sunday, I had been invited by one of the members of our group to be part of a symposium on a topic of spiritual matters. In that meeting, the chairperson looked familiar and I just could not place him. After the session was over, he came up to me and greeted me warmly and recollected his days with a sister company of the same company.

Such incidents simply refuse to let me forget the three years that I spent with the company! Not quite nostalgia but, incidents that keep cropping up at regular intervals to revive my memories!

Do such things happen to my readers?

Doom And Gloom.

My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has suggested that we revisit this topic after a little over six years! It was nice going back to see the original post that I had written just as it was to read Shackman’s. We had taken completely different approaches to the topic then but, this time around, I suspect that we would be writing about our respective current political scenarios.

My take is very simple. “The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 7 phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May 2019 and on the same day the results will be declared. Wikipedia”

This time around, the battle lines are not yet clearly drawn but, indications are that there will most likely be three cornered fights in most states between the current coalition party in power, the Indian National Congress which has recently showed success in three state elections and local configurations of Regional Parties.

The common factor in all the three contenders’s manifesto is the doom and gloom that they forecast if the other contenders come to power. The ruling dispensation however has shown a more positive approach by highlighting their achievements and plans for the future in a slightly more positive note.

I am personally rooting for the current dispensation and am reasonably sure that it will form the next government again. As many of my friends suggest, when discussing politics, I have skin in the game as I have bet that my forecast comes true with some of my pension money! I am likely to bet some more closer to the elections when the odds improve or deteriorate as the case may be.  I am also prepared to lose some friends of a different ideology but, am sure to gain a new acceptable government.

Another area where both Shackman and I are likely to converge when writing about the topic is to bring music in to the post and my choice is an old favourite by The Rolling Stones. Just look at the band and you can guess my age too!

And before you turn on the music, please do remember to visit Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say about the topic.  Thank you.

Doom and Gloom
The Rolling Stones

I had a dream last night
That I was piloting a plane
And all the passengers were drunk and insane
I crash landed in a Louisiana swamp
Shot up a horde of zombies
But I come out on top
What’s it all about?
Guess it just reflects my mood
Sitting in the dirt
Feeling kind of hurt
When all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the light your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Lost all that treasure in an overseas war
It just goes to show you, don’t get what you paid for
Battle to the rich and you worry about the poor
Put my feet up on the couch
And lock all the doors
Hear a funky noise
That’s the tightening of the screws
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Sitting in the dirt
All I hear is doom and gloom
But when those drums go boom boom boom
And through the night your face I see
Baby take a chance
Baby won’t you dance with me
Baby won’t you dance with me
Ah yeah
Fracking deep for oil
But there’s nothing in the sump
There’s kids all picking
Ar the garbage dumb
I’m running out of water
So I better prime the pump
I’m trying to stay sober
But I end up drunk
We’ll be eating dirt
Living on the side of the road
There’s some food for thought
Kinda makes your head explode
Feeling kind of hurt
But all I hear is doom and gloom
And all is darkness in my room
Through the night your face I see
Baby come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m feeling kind of hurt
Baby won’t you dance with me
Come on
Baby won’t you dance with me
I’m sitting in the dirt
Baby won’t you dance with me!

Songwriters: Keith Richards / Mick Jagger
Doom and Gloom lyrics © BMG Rights Management

The Company Of Great Persons.

We had a house-guest the last two days. He is my son’s friend, and had come to Pune to finalise a place to set up residence. He normally lives in Mumbai and some family related matters has made it an imperative that he shifts to Pune.

During a couple of long sessions of discussions on wide ranging subjects, I learnt some new things from him as he claimed he did from me too. For me, I learn new things from the world of Management every time some one younger comes along and spends some time with me and this one was such an occasion. From my side, I was able to give some information about India’s economy, development and politics to him, information that I have acquired through my reading habits and discussions with a wide circle of friends that I am blessed with.

He left early yesterday morning but, before he left, he came near me, bent down, touched my feet and took my blessings as traditionally Indians are taught to in their childhood. This is a practice that due to Westernisation and urbanisation has more or less disappeared and I was touched by this traditional way of taking leave by this young man. He said that he believed in the Guru Shishya Parampara and considered his time with me as between a teacher and a student and said that he looked forward to more such meeting in the future once he settles down in Pune.

I was touched by this gesture and respect / affection shown by this young man. The experience led me to some reflection on the information that I shared with him and concluded that I am blessed with the association of a number of very smart and erudite people in my life. I called one of them to share this experience and conclusion and he promptly and cheerfully shared this message through WhatsApp!

Company Of Great Persons.

महाजनस्य संसर्गः कस्य नोन्नतिकारकः I

पद्मपत्रस्थितम तोयं धत्ते मुक्ताफलश्रियम II

Mahaajanasya samsargah kasya nonnathikaarakah. 1

Padmapathrasthitham thoyam dhatte muktaaphalashriyam. 2

Company of great persons is always beneficial.

A drop of water on lotus leaf appears like a pearl, thus gaining
a status similar to that of pearl.

This is to thank all those great persons in my life.